Skip to main content

CNS General Questions


Q: How long is my filing active?

A:  An Effective Financing Statement and CNS Statutory Lien Notice is active for 5 years. A continuation will extend the duration of an Effective Financing Statement filing for an additional 5 years. A CNS Statutory Agricultural Lien cannot be continued.

Q: Where can I get CNS forms?

A: Click here to obtain CNS forms.

Q: What is the difference between an Effective Financing Statement and a Statutory Lien Notice?

A: An effective financing statement (EFS) subjects farm products to a security interest. The security interest may or may not be related to the farm products. The party completing the effective financing statement is responsible for selecting the farm product and county codes to be listed as part of the EFS in the CNS online filing system.

A statutory lien notice is filed by an already existing lienholder (i.e. veterinarian, crop sprayer, landlord) to protect their interests in services or materials already rendered or provided. A statutory lienholder has the right to put conditions on the release or waiver of the lien which the lien notice represents. The party completing the statutory lien notice is responsible for selecting the farm product and county codes to be listed as part of the statutory lien notice in the CNS online system.

Q: Is the SSN required on CNS filings?

A: Minnesota Statutes require a Social Security and Federal Tax Identification Number for each debtor name listed on the Effective Financing Statement.  The CNS Statutory Lien Notice does not require Social Security or Federal Tax Identification numbers.

Q: Can more than one action be checked on a CNS-3 form?

A:  Only one action can be checked on a CNS form.

Q: Does the CNS-3 Termination change the status of a CNS filing?

A: Yes, the CNS-3 Termination does changes the status of a filing in the Central Notification System.

Q: Is there an extra cost for additional pages or debtor names?

A: No, the fee to file an Effective Financing Statement is a flat fee of $25.  The fee to file a Statutory Lien Notice is $20 regardless of the number of pages or names submitted.

Q: What makes a CNS form standard?

A: The Minnesota Secretary of State forms are the only forms accepted for filing and are therefore the only standard forms. Only one copy is required.

Q: Is the debtor signature required for CNS filings?

A:  The secured party may check the signature box on the form to verify that the debtor and/or the signature of the secured party are on file with the secured party.  Each debtor name and the secured party are required to sign the effective financing statement form.  Only the lienholder is required to sign a statutory lien statement.  A financing statement filed online need not be signed by the debtor if the secured party obtains the debtor’s signature on a paper effective financing statement for the lien.

Q: What is the mailing address for CNS filings and search requests?

A:  Office of the Secretary of State

      Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building

      60 Empire Drive, Suite 100

      Saint Paul, MN 55103

Q: Who do I make the check payable to?

A: Your check can be made payable to the Secretary of State.

Q: How do I contact you?

A: Uniform Commercial Code: ucc.dept@state.mn.us

     Fax: 651-215-1009

     Public Information Phone Lines: 651-296-2803

     Greater MN toll free: 1-877-551-6767